Indian Star made it difficult for herself but had enough in the tank to win her second consecutive Jeju Governor’s Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.
Strangely the defending champion, who returned to form with a very good 2nd place in a recent tough handicap at Busan, was’t sent off as favourite but under jockey Lim Sung Sil, Indian Star took the race by the scruff of its neck and raced into an early lead. At the top of the stretch, it looked set to be a procession, however, then the antics started.
First Indian Star ducked one way and then the other, losing her momentum and giving away her advantage. Bright Star attacked on one side and Chang Se on the other but jockey Lim managed to rouse Indian Star for one final push to get home on top by a neck.
Indian Star, a half-sister to this year’s KRA Cup Mile winner Indian King, has now won 11 of 23 starts.
Jeju Governor’s Cup (KOR G3) – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – September 3, 2017
1. Indian Star (KOR) [Adcat – Indian Diamond (Indian Charlie)] – Lim Sung Sil – 4.1, 1.7
2. Bright Star (KOR) [Menifee – L Vicar (Vicar)] – Franco Da Silva – 2.9
3. Chang Se (KOR) [Forest Camp – Daecheonpung (Fiercely)] – Johan Victoire – 8.8
Distances: Neck / Head
Also Ran: 4. Santa Gloria 5. Steal The Show Why 6. Pink Blade 7. Tour Rose 8. Lead Money 9. Super Blade 10. Uju Star 11. Jejui Haneul 12. Black Sapphire 13. Pinot Noir 14. Happy Sensation 15. Rain Sky
With only a couple of exceptions, the betting favourites had things their way on a warm Spring afternoon at Busan on Friday. It was a good day too for trainer Bart Rice.
Standout performance came from Indian Star (Adcat) in the closing race 10. The filly had won seven of her ten previous starts but was up to class 1 for the first time.Perhaps benefiting from the absence of the scratched Miracle Line, the four-year-old was able to go off to an easy lead in the 1400M handicap; a lead she would never give up as she raced on to win by three lengths.
Also performing well was Tongil Sidae (Munnings). He and fellow US import Wonderful Today (also by Munnings) both came into race 8 looking for a hat-trick of wins but it was Tongil Sidae who prevailed in the 1800M class 2 contest. He’s now won four of six starts.
Finishing in 3rd place in that race was Bart Rice’s Choegangiji. And it was a solid day’s work for the South African trainer and jockey Chae Sang Hyun with the pair reaming up to good effect on three occasions.
Rice’s filly Blue Cat (One Cool Cat) may be a little frustrating in terms of her results but she is certainly gutsy. Up in class despite being yet to win – she scored two 2nd places at class 6 – she put in a solid effort in race 4 to get her third consecutive 2nd place. One race later, Rice and Chae went one better with 23/1 outsider Yaksokui Sigan (Exploit) getting the best of one of the tightest three-way photo finishes possible. Showing that there’s plenty of hope for Blue Cat, Yaksokui Sigan was landing his maiden win at the 18th time of asking.
In other races, there was a rare pairing of Busan’s champion trainer Kim Young Kwan with Seoul’s champion jockey Moon Se Young. Moon is down south to ride in the KRA Cup Mile on Sunday and he partnered Kim’s Evangeline (Menifee), a half-sister of Stakes winner Magic Dancer, to victory in race 9.
Speaking of the KRA Cup Mile, we’ll have a full runner by runner preview of the first leg of the 2016 Korean Triple Crown up tomorrow.